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Dental Consultant Advice: D4910

Dental Consultant Advice: D4910

The industry standard for periodontal procedures is between 30-35% of hygiene production. Periodontal maintenance (D4910), of course, follows SRPs. It is not preventive. It is after-care. 

However sometimes patients are billed for a prophy (D1110) when in fact what they got was a D4910 or some other after-care treatment. If this is happening in your practice there is likely a significant loss of production.

Sometimes this occurs as that’s the “way it’s always been done” or because the hygienist and/or front desk person do not know how to comfortably explain the differences in the treatments so they opt for the path of least resistance as they are afraid they will upset or lose the patient.

For this reason it is vital that your hygienist and front desk be able to comfortably educate the patient on the necessity of regular periodontal maintenance visits and how that is different from a prophy. This is done using effective case presentation techniques. Start by role playing with your hygienists to see how well they can educate patients on the differences. It can be a real eye opener.

Also putting a hygienist on production based pay is one way to get hygienists to be more aware of what treatment a patient should be getting but if your hygienist wants hourly pay then you might consider implementing a bonus based on a percentage over 3X her pay. However do not expect such a system to work unless the hygienist is already a willing producer as bonus systems rarely have a positive effect on clock punchers. However if the hygienist is not comfortable explaining the differences in treatment such a system will fail so the first step is to role play to see how competent or not the hygienist is at educating patients and then take it from there. You might also find that some hygienists will complain about doing too many SRPs. In my opinion the only scheduling issue a hygienist should be concerned about are open hours though I would avoid scheduling back to back SRPs when possible.


Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at 

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There is the good, the bad and the ugly of dental practice management, but many dentists will still tell you the probability is your dental consulting will work if you and your consultant are on the same page. It stands to reason that if a dental consultant had little value, worth or benefit that consultant could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long.  A veteran dental consultant is also a "personal coach" who shold bring management wisdom based on "in the trenches" experience along with systems and protocols to that have been successfully implemented in other practices. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what systems work and don't across many dental practices. 

Systems

New Patient Phone Call

Insurance Processing

New Patient Experience and Patient Education

Financial Arrangements

Scheduling

Confirmation

Unscheduled Treatment 

Reactivation

Daily and Weekly Checklists

General Policy Manual 

Staff Accountability

What gets monitored, gets managed. It is as simple as that. The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue for re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee.

Leadership

What most practice owners are lack in knowledge is not how to book an appointment, but rather how to be an effective leader. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply. 

Questions To Ask 

  1. Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?

  2. Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance?There are advantages to both.

  3. If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.

  4. Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.

  5. The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.  

 

Top Dental Practice Mangement Consultant

Shane Blake DDS Coudersport, PAMy name is Kevin Tighe. I am Cambridge's CEO and Senior Consultant. Before joining the Cambridge team I was in charge of setting up workshops for large nonprofits throughout the United States and Canada. During that time, I was fortunate to receive mentoring from several world-class business consultants, including a dental practice management guru, which led to a position at Cambridge as their seminar organizer. In time, I began crisscrossing the country delivering seminars myself for the better part of a decade. Subsequently, I moved up to senior consultant and eventually owner.  Contributing writer to Dental Economics/DIQ, JADA, AGD Impact and Dental Town Magazine.

  

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